The International Air Transport Association (Iata) on Tuesday announced healthy, but moderating, global passenger traffic results for November 2018.
Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose by 6.2% compared with November 2017, a slight deceleration from 6.3% growth in October.
Capacity, as measured in available seat kilometres, increased by 6.8% over the year-ago period, and load factor dipped 0.4 of a percentage point to 80.0%.
It was only the third time in two years that load factor fell on a year-on-year basis.
“Traffic is solid. But there are clear signs that growth is moderating in line with the slowing global economy. We still expect 6% demand growth this year. But trade tensions, protective tariffs and Brexit are all uncertainties that overhang the industry,” said Iata director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER MARKETS
November international passenger demand rose by 6.6% compared with November 2017.
All regions showed growth, led by carriers in Europe.
Total capacity climbed by 6.7%, and load factor dipped 0.1 of a percentage point to 78.4%.
European carriers saw demand increase by 9% in November, which was a nine-month high.
Owing to mixed signs on the economic backdrop in the region it was unclear whether this pace of growth could be sustained, Iata stated.
Capacity climbed by 9.1% and load factor slipped by 0.1 of a percentage point to 82.1%, the highest load factor among the regions.
Asia-Pacific airlines’ November traffic climbed 6% compared with the year-ago period, up from 5.7% growth in October.
Capacity also rose 6% and load factor was flat at 79.1%. Growth is underpinned by rising living standards and continuing expansion of options for travellers.
Middle East carriers had a 2.8% demand increase, which was the lowest among the regions for a third consecutive month. Capacity rose by 5.6% and load factor slipped by 1.9 percentage points to 69%.
North American airlines’ traffic climbed 6.1%, in November, up from 5.7% in October and well ahead of the five-year average rate of 4%.
Capacity rose by 3.8% and load factor edged up 1.7 percentage points to 80.6%. Demand is supported by comparatively strong momentum in the US economy.
Latin American airlines’ November traffic climbed by 5.8% compared with November 2017.
Despite the increase, growth has slowed on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Capacity rose by 6.6% and load factor slipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to 80.6%.
African airlines experienced a 5.7% rise in demand compared with November 2017.
Growth is occurring despite challenges in the continent’s largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa. Capacity rose by 3.9% and load factor climbed by 1.2 percentage points to 68.9%.
DOMESTIC PASSENGER MARKETS
Domestic travel demand rose 5.6% in November 2018 compared to the same month in 2017, its slowest pace in 11 months and down by 6.5% from October.
All markets except Australia showed growth. Domestic capacity climbed 6.9%, and load factor dropped one percentage point to 82.8%.